Home Improvement8 Things You Should Know Before Installing Moroccan Tiles

AdminAugust 9, 2019706 min

You might know Moroccan tiles by some other names including zilij, zellige terracotta tiles or zellige tiles. These tiles are the trendiest tiles of 2019. You can see Moroccan tiles almost everywhere. These beautiful tiles can be seen in villas in France, trendy houses in Hudson or cottages on Cape Cod. A Moroccan tile is handmade and beautiful with the slightly imperfect charm.

If you want to install these trendy tiles in your house, there are some things you should keep in mind. It may be the best addition to the decoration of your house or installing these tiles in your house may not work at all. You can work with an interior designer to find out if Morrocan tiles are ideal for your project or not.

So, let’s learn more about these tiles.

Moroccan tile is the ancestor of subway tile

Subway tiles and Moroccan tiles come from two different worlds. Subway tiles were created for the New York City subway in 1904. On the other hand, Moroccan tiles come from Morocco, dating back to the 10th century. However, these tiles are the early iteration of subway tiles. Both these tiles are fired and glazed ceramic tiles.

It is an art

The art of making these tiles is passed from generation to generation. Maâlems have mastery in Moroccan tile making. However, it is a dying art. Making these tiles with hands is a laborious work. Tile makers mix natural clay from the area of Fez with water. They shape these tiles with hand. Moroccan tiles are then dried and kiln-fired. The craftsman then applies enamel glazing by hands.

Every tile is unique

A Moroccan tile is a hand-molded, hand-cut and hand-glazed tile. So, no two Moroccan tiles are exactly the same.

This tile can be hard to clean

As it is hand-made, a Moroccan tile has an imperfect, uneven shape. The more fluid or rippled appearance of these tiles adds the real charm to your space. However, this unevenness also makes it hard to clean it.

Tiles may not be available in one uniform color

This is another side-effect of being handmade. It is extremely difficult to find a batch of tiles having the exactly same appearance. Also, keep in mind that Moroccan tiles are shiny.

You can get natural zellige

You can buy unglazed zellige as well if you are interested in a more bare look. However, you have to prevent the formation of a “veil” of cement. So, when you are installing, make sure that the tiles are wet. Use a grout with few additives.

Not a DIY thing

You might have completed some DIY flooring projects successfully. However, Moroccan tiles are tricky to install. If you are planning to use these tiles for your project, find someone who has experience in installing Moroccan tiles. It is important to handle these tiles with care and pay close attention to details.

Install closely with the grout nearly invisible

When you are installing, keep these tiles as close as possible. First of all, prepare the area with adhesive cement and then place the tiles. Now, skim-coat tiles with thin grout or liquid joint cement. In the end, remove the access.


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